Does the sight of a living plant wall blow your mind? These beautiful green wall structures, widely growing in popularity, can look beyond spectacular.
It’s awe-inspiring to think of whoever makes those installations and all the work that goes into it. But making one yourself would surely be biting off more than you can chew.
Or would it?
We won’t lie, creating your own beautiful plant wall requires hard work. But once you learn the steps you need to take, it’s actually relatively simple.
And you’ll be able to show off your green finger skills like never before.
Making a living plant wall yourself is a great way to solve the problem of limited space in your home garden and save money.
Today we bring you actionable tips on how to make your own planter. It’s time to grow the majestic vertical garden you’ve always wanted.
Pick the Perfect Spot for Your Living Plant Wall
So, how do you figure out the perfect site for your living wall?
Vertical wooden planters will fit well in a variety of backgrounds. Anything from home fencing to side house walls will qualify. You can also opt to do an indoor plant wall.
A vertical garden is a common choice for those who have to rationalize with their garden space. So don’t get on to building your planter before you’ve figured out how to make the most of what you’ve got.
And there’s a way to make this difficult decision-making easy.
Start by putting the name to the plants you want to feature in your living plant wall. Once you do that, choosing a place your plants will love will be straight forward.
Choose a wall that offers the best growing conditions for the selected plants. Or just pick a spot in your home garden that receives the most sunlight.
As Denise Eichmann, Vertical Garden Design Consultant at Ambius says:
The more light you have available increases the plant palette of species you can pick from. If you don’t have much direct light, you’re going to be limited to plants that grow in low light such as philodendrons and pothos.”
Construct a Wooden Frame
There are many ways to make your vertical garden from scratch, depending on the design you choose.
You can make living plant walls as simple as a few plant pots hung on a vertical frame. Or go minimalistic and put your plants in a couple of landscape fabric sacks.
But what we’re featuring today is something a bit more sturdy and impressive. A wooden living plant wall.
To make the planter from scratch you’ll need some wooden beams for the frame and some plastic sheeting and fabric for covering.
Let’s start with the frame.
Decide on the size of your living plant wall. Using 36-inch and 22-inch boards will give you a frame that’s not over-the-top. This size is handy if you want to test the waters before scaling up.
Use pressure-treated battens for your living wall planters. This will keep moisture from getting through to the wall.
Let’s start building:
Lay 36-inch-long and 22-inch-long battens on a flat surface and form a rectangular frame.
Step # 2:
Attach the battens together using 2-1/2-inch deck screws.
Step # 3:
Next, take a 36-inch x 22-inch piece of plywood, line it up on the top of the frame and screw it in. This will make the bottom of your living wall planter.
The easy way to mount your living wall is by using a French cleat. You’ll do this step after your planter is all done. But while you’re meddling with wood, it’s a good chance to make it.
Take a 10 x 2 x 20-inch board and use a hand saw to cut it lengthwise at a 45-degree angle. Alternatively, get a carpenter to make the cut.
Attach one part of the board to the wall and another to the back of your planter. The two parts you end up with will fit snugly together when it’s time to mount the planter on the wall.
Line the Plant Wall With Plastic Sheeting
Yes, you want a living plant wall but you don’t want to compromise the cleanliness of your home.
As awesome as living wall planters are, your hallway is not the forest floor
And because plants need water, you’ll need to be 100% sure there isn’t any leakage coming out from your living wall.
A great way to ensure no moisture gets through to your house wall is to line planters with plastic sheeting.
Use the thickest possible sheeting you can find. Look for this at any home improvement or hardware store.
- Attach a sheet of plastic to the frame, placing it evenly inside the wooden planter. Use your hands to ensure the plastic lays flat before stapling it.
- Add an extra layer at the back of the frame if you want to be super-confident in keeping the water off the wall.
- Make sure you don’t rip the material apart while stapling it.
Add Landscape Fabric and Fill Your Wall Planter With Soil
Before you start putting the soil into your living plant wall you need something to hold it inside. Landscape fabric will suit this purpose perfectly because it:
- Allows the oxygen in and out
- Keeps the water in
This breathable material is the best choice for your vertical garden project. It promotes plant respiration, provides enough moisture, and keeps the roots from rotting.
Here’s how to attach your landscape fabric to your planted wall and fill it up with soil:
- You’ll need to coat your living plant wall with two layers of fabric. One fitting closely along the frame over the plastic layer. Another covering the entire planter on the face side so you have something to hold the dirt securely.
- Use basic landscape fabric, felt carpet padding or stronger geotextile fabric. You’ll find one of these at your local hardware store. Attach the two layers of fabric by securing them with a stapler every 3 to 4 inches.
- Make 6 to 8-inch slits in the landscape fabric at three different places. Use a hand trowel to fill the frame with soil.
Pick the Plants for Your Living Plant Wall
There’s one last question before getting down to your favorite part: planting.
What plants to grow on your living plant wall?
We know you want your choice to be the right one and you’ll settle for nothing less. Your vertical garden is a dream come true so it should be all you’ve hoped for. We all know this isn’t easy to do.
So take your time when coming up with your ideal living wall plants. We can offer some vertical garden tips that will help you get there.
Here are the points to consider before you decide what to plant in your vertical garden:
- The best green wall plant is a versatile one, especially if you intend to water your plants manually. You want to be able to water them and not have to worry about different watering requirements.
- When creating an outdoor vertical garden your need to think about which plants will tolerate your microclimate conditions.
- Think of the plants collectively. With the immobility of the vertical garden, they’ll all have similar conditions to grow in. If you pick a sunny area for your vertical garden, feature sun-loving plants. Similarly, if you opt for a living plant wall in the shade this limits your choice to shade-tolerant plants.
- You don’t need climbing plants here. They often give your living wall an unruly look. So avoid spreading vines such as blueberry bushes, Wisteria, and English ivy.
That said, this still leaves you with plenty of plant varieties to choose from for your vertical garden. Small shrubs and herbaceous perennials make for some gloriously textured plantings. Ferns, crotons, and succulents are also great for your living wall planters.
The following plant list should help you get started. Try some of these to add edge, texture, and variety to your vertical garden.
- Lilyturf (Liriope muscari)
- Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)
- Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis)
- Plantain lilies (Hosta)
- Maidenhair fern (Adiantum)
- Song of India (Dracaena reflexa)
- Baby’s tears (Helxine soleirolii)
- Purple petticoats (Heuchera)
Take Your Gardening a Step Further
Ready to create a living plant wall for your home garden?
Planting a wall of your own can seem like quite a task to take on. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We’ve gone all out to make it as easy as possible for you. Just follow the steps above, and you can create planters you’ll be beyond proud of.
Living wall planters are a great way to move away from run-of-the-mill garden solutions. You’ll love every minute of it!
There’s no limit to what you can do with your vertical garden.
But a living wall is just one of many impressive things you can do when you grow your own plants in a home garden. Head over to the Gardening Channel for more inspiration.
We love helping you raise the benchmark when it comes to gardening and outdoor living. It’s a great feeling that can compare only to those few exceptionally good things in life. Just like gardening itself!